Rents largely stable month on month in Scotland, latest buy to let index shows
Rent levels remain stable across Scotland with average values up in four of five regions and landlords seeing typical returns of 4.8%, the latest index data shows.
Overall rents in September were largely unchanged compared to the previous month at an average of $574 per month with the Highlands and Islands seeing the strongest annual rent growth at 6%.
This compares with an overall year on year rise of 2.8% with the next strongest growth in Edinburgh and the Lothians at 4.5% with the area now having the highest rents in Scotland at. £669.
The data from the Your Move buy to let index also shows that only one region, Glasgow and Clyde, recording a year on year fall with a 6% decrease to £541, while the East of Scotland remains the cheapest place to rent a home at £538 despite a 1.9% annual rise. The figures show that returns achieved by landlords and property investors ticked down during September but typical yields seen across the country remain highly competitive when compared to other asset classes.
The survey found that landlords saw a return of 4.8% in September, down on the 4.9% recorded during August and also down slightly on the 5% recorded during September 2016. The index report reminds landlords and letting agents to be readying themselves for an upcoming change in legislation. From 31 January 2018 the Letting Agent Code of Practice will come into force and agents will have to declare themselves compliant with this new legislation.
Letting agents will be required to join a Register of Letting Agents and Your Move Scotland is urging all landlords and property investors to enquire with their current agent to ensure they will be compliant with the new rules. Letting agencies must have submitted an application to join the code of practice by 30 September 2018. From that point it will be a criminal offence to conduct letting agency work if you aren’t on the register. Those breaking the rules could face a fine of up to £50,000 and up to six months imprisonment.
The new legislation is intended to increase professionalism in the sector and make sure that agents are properly able to handle money received from both tenants and landlords.
‘With four of the five regions of Scotland showing price growth in the last 12 months, things are looking up for Scottish landlords. Returns remain highly competitive and landlords are enjoying greater stability from their tenants,’ said Brian Moran, lettings director at Your Move Scotland. ‘However, the upcoming introduction of the Letting Agent Code of Practice means landlords should ensure their agent is ready for the changes,’ he added.